Dream word – PEACE
“Woe is me, that I dwell in Meshech, that I dwell among the tents of Kedar! My soul has dwelt too long with one who hates peace.” NKJV.
Noisy, nasty neighbours
There is probably nothing more soul destroying, nothing more profoundly disconcerting to peace at home or peace in the home, than noisy, nasty neighbours. My wife is always telling me off for having the audacity to look people in the eye when I walk along the street and saying, “Hello.” Her reason for this is the almost consistent lack of reciprocation, “They just don’t care,” says she, “Well I do!” says I, and so the very next stranger I will say “Good morning and God bless you!” My wife does however have a point, after all, I was reading just today under the headline of “Silence or Civility,” that a growing problem in the United Kingdom is that of “neighbours who never speak,” which in turn is producing a “serious decline in every day interaction leading to unnecessary disputes.” In other words, this lack of basic social interaction is leading to even more noisy and nasty neighbours.
Remembering of course the violence that was King David, it is very interesting to note from our text tonight that he had two things going on in his life common to many of us and that was, having some nasty neighbours which he longed to be free of! Now David, being a king in the most antagonistic of times could have turned to conquest as a means of solving his difficulty, after all, there is nothing like a bit of neighbourly annihilation to get rid of the problem. However, at 1am in the morning when next door’s sub woofer is still barking in your body and making you feel like Genghis Kahn in a very, very bad mood, even so, the infliction of death and annihilation is not the most neighbourly of options, never mind a Christian one. I know, it’s a shame, but there you go!
If you’re reading this with your earplugs in your lugholes, let me quickly say that there are seven things that must be done in the face of noisy and nasty neighbours, those being communication, accommodation, negotiation, annihilation, retaliation, litigation and relocation.
First then - communication. Talk to your neighbours! Tell them over a coffee, over the hedge, or in a nice note through their door maybe, just exactly what they are doing and why, when and where you would like them to stop doing it,. Remember, be nice!
Secondly - accommodation. Yup, you may need to bend as well. Make arrangements to “be out” when the event is taking place. Turn your own TV up louder, turn up at the party yourself. Yes, bend when you can. Be as flexible as you can.
Thirdly - negotiation. Of course you can only do this if you are talking. If however, the other person sees you at least trying to accommodate, then you can almost guarantee there will be the opportunity of negotiation.
Fourthly - annihilation. I just put this one in here to remind you that this is not an option! Sorry. Don’t even think about it. Don’t contemplate it. Don’t fantasize about it because I assure you, it really won’t help.
Fifthly - retaliation. Ah there is nothing better than waking up the late sleeping, whacked out, party neighbours at 6am in the morning with “Praise My Soul The King of Heaven” played at full blast. You might even consider inviting the Sally Bash to come and witness to them early, with bugles, tambourines and a very big base drum. Now this might feel like retaliation, even vengeance and that might feel so good, but it isn’t really, no, it’s merely an attempt to re-open negotiations! If they have kept you awake. Then be sure to wake them when thy are sleeping.
Sixthy - litigation. Yes, this is not nice, but you will notice this is the 6th option and not the first. Sometimes, you just have to get higher authorities involved. End of story. Call the Police. Call the noise abatement society. Call the local council. Get the authorities involved. Why should your life be made a misery?
Lastly - relocation. Yes, pray fervently that God will move your noisy and nasty neighbour along. If needs be, share your faith and hope in the answer to this very specific prayer with the local authorities including the Police! Of course, if in the end you still have no peace in your neighbourhood and your household, then maybe you need to seriously consider your very own personal relocation.
Noisy and nasty neighbours are one big problem dear friends that you will increasingly experience in this our increasingly selfish world. It needs addressing.
Oh, and you might be interested to know that it is apparently the Scots who are now considered to be the most friendliest of neighbours. Unless of course, you’re English! Only joking. No, not really! Tell me tonight though, how good a neighbour are you?
Listen: “‘These are the things you shall do: Speak each man the truth to his neighbour; give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace; let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbour; and do not love a false oath. For all these are things that I hate,' Says the Lord.” - Zechariah 8:16-17 NKJV.
Pray: Lord grant us all most silent nights and give to us Your beloved, sleep! Amen.
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